The Role of Legumes in Sustainable Cereal Production in Rainfed Areas uri icon

abstract

  • Cool season food legumes (CSFL) are minor crops compared to cereals, but they are important in farming systems, in human and animal nutrition and as a source of biological N. They protect the soil from erosion, add organic matter, fix nitrogen and spare soil mineral N as well as helping control cereal diseases. They provide more flexible weed control options. Two major factors may lead to the increased use of cool season food legumes in cereal based cropping systems. The first is the demand for grain with a high protein content and other nutritional factors, for human and animal consumption. The second is the realisation of their importance as a ?break? crop in continuous non-legume cropping systems. The contribution of pulses to increased cereal production will come from a better understanding of rotations and production packages, better information on the residual effects of legumes, development of simulation models to predict these effects and the enhancement of biological N2 fixation. The pulses themselves require continued support to develop better disease resistance, higher yields, better fashioned cultivars for specific cropping environments, technological packages and extension support and, more sophisticated local and international marketing strategies. Cereal-legume rotations enable the use of different herbicides in the respective crops and reduce the risk of herbicide resistance in weeds

publication date

  • 2000
  • 2000